The bid challenge process was set up to allow bidders and proponents (contractors) an opportunity to voice complaints about the tendering process and to provide specific input on correcting any possible inconsistencies. (See Contracting & Procurement Directive Part VIII)
Detailed Information on the Bid Challenge Process can be found in the Bid Challenge brochure.
The intent of this hearing process was to establish a non-adversarial opportunity for an impartial panel to review what happened and determine if:
The Bid Challenge Committee consists of twelve members - a chair, alternate chair (both appointed from the private sector), five representatives from the private sector and five representatives from within the government.
The complainant must be able to show that he/she has sufficient interest in a specific tender before a complaint can be made, i.e. that they were a bidder or proponent.
A letter of complaint should indicate that it is a Bid Challenge and contain specific details of what occurred to make the tender process unfair.
This letter can be forwarded within 60 days following the tender closing or 15 days following the contract award (whichever is later).
When a complaint is received, the complainant is urged to approach the department employee against which the complaint is filed (procurement authority) and discuss the issue in an attempt to resolve the problem.
The government department is also asked to provide details on the tender process and address the items of complaint. Receipt of a complaint does not interfere with the normal process of awarding a contract, but allows for a review of the process to determine if errors were made.
The Chair reviews both the complaint letter and the department report to determine if a hearing is required. Some of the things the Chair considers are:
If a hearing is to be held, a panel is selected, consisting of the chair, one government representative and one private sector representative.
Care is taken to ensure none of the panel members has any potential or perceived conflict of interest with the complaint, the complainant or the procurement authority.
A hearing is scheduled and location of hearing set within a reasonable time. After the hearing, possible recommendations can be made to improve the process or to correct errors made.
These recommendations may include the payment of redress. The committee is to be advised of corrective measures or processes implemented by the department of the procurement authority.
At the hearing, the Chair outlines the complaint and confirms procedures on how the hearing will progress.
The panel discusses the facts presented, reviews the documentation and considers the process. A decision is reached on how the process was handled, if it was fair or if errors occurred that did not maintain the level playing field.
Recommendations are drafted to help improve the process or ensure that errors are not repeated.
Minutes are taken and a report is distributed to all parties to the hearing and to the Deputy Minister of Highways and Public Works and of the procurement authority.
If the committee finds that a procurement authority did not follow the Contract and Procurement Regulation, the Contracting and Procurement Directive, or that the bidder was treated differently from other bidders, recommendations are made to implement changes for the next tendering process.
The Deputy Minister of the procurement authority department considers the recommendations and decides either to implement changes or explain why it feels the recommendations are not appropriate.
It is also the responsibility of that deputy minister to address the recommendation of redress (compensation).
The Deputy Minister of the procurement authority department responds (in writing) to recommendations identifies steps taken to correct any errors that occurred and reports on progress being made.
This information is forwarded to the Chair, all committee members and the departmental minister.
For more information about the Bid Challenge process, please consult the Bid Challenge Brochure. If you would like to request copies of the Brochure, please contact Procurement Support Centre at (867) 667-5385.
Additional information on the Bid Challenge process is available in the Bid Challenge brochure >>>
For more information on the Bid Challenge process contact the Bid Challenge Secretariat.
Suite 101 - 104 Elliott Street (W-3C)